While it may just be a marketing ploy, some financial providers are aiming specialized investment advice to women.
Everyone knows women think differently than men. That difference includes their attitudes towards financial matters, and the manner in which they invest.
With that in mind, several new financial planning platforms have been created specifically to serve the investment needs of women. Former Wall Street executive Sally Krawcheck has started her own investment advisory service she has named Ellevest, and is outwardly marketing it to serve women investors.
“It is time to give women an investment experience built specifically for them,’’ Krawcheck said in making her announcement in mid-2015.
There is overwhelming evidence that women are treated differently when discussing finances and investing. The Spectrem study Advisor Relationships and Changing Advice Requirements shows that 21 percent of Millionaire investors with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million would change advisors because the financial professional spoke only to the investor’s spouse (and it is fair to assume the investor being ignored was the female spouse).
A recent Harvard University study of advisor behavior found that women are often asked less detailed questions about their salaries, expected career paths and hopes for future economic prospect than men are. It also showed advisors are more likely to demand women turn over a greater portion of their investible funds to advisors.
Women with funds to invest also approach the matter differently. Spectrem’s e-zine High Income Women Investors repeatedly indicates the unique ways women approach investment decisions. Whether they are part of a two-income household or control all of their financial decisions alone, their approach to investments and their relationship with financial advisors are very different than for men.
Among women making $200,000 in annual income, 54 percent are willing to take a significant risk with a portion of their investments in order to earn a high return. That is well above the 32 percent of all other affluent investors who are willing to do so.
High Income Women are also far more likely to concern themselves with all of the factors involved in making an investment decision, including the level of risk involved, the reputation of the company to be invested in, the past track record of the investment, the tax implications, and the social responsibility of their investments.
High Income Women are far more likely to invest in money market funds and investment real estate than other investors. They are more likely to report dissatisfaction with their current advisor, and are more likely to use more than one advisor than other affluent investors.
Other than paying greater attention to what women want out of their investment and financial plans, it is not clear exactly what products or services better serve a female investor than a male investor.
“I see a number of technological startups that are only gearing toward women,’’ said advisor Kate Holmes, CEO of Belmore Financial, “But to me it is more of a marketing thing. That’s perfectly fine, creating your own niche, with a focus on who you want to attract. From a marketing standpoint, it does create a safer environment.”
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.